The approach to the town of Norwich involved road-walking on Elm Avenue. By the time I reached the end of the street and arrived in the center of town the sun had set.
At this point, I was uncertain where I was going to sleep tonight, but thought I would try to find a church described in the Guthooks app. The church wasn't specifically named, but the information said its parishioners allowed hikers to sleep in the basement. The only thing I knew about this church was it was in a blue building with a red door.
First, though, I decided to get something to eat. I headed to Dan and Whit’s General Store, hoping it was still open.
Thankfully, I discovered it was, so I bought a ready-made sandwich and a drink. After I paid for my food, the clerk told me hikers can get free day-old food. I might have glowered at him if I wasn’t so tired.
At least, though, he was able to give me a general idea of where the church was located, which was just down the street. I sat on a curb outside the store and ate my sandwich, then walked to find the church.
When I found the blue church with a red door I learned it was called St. Barnabas Episcopal Church. There were no obvious signs that hikers were welcome or where to go, though, so I had to look around.
Walking toward the back of the building I noticed a light in a window. It felt a bit creepy to do this, but I peered in the window. With relief, I saw Pheasant Melon, Umbrella Face and Dozer sitting in a room with bunks. I knocked on the window and they pointed me to where I could find the door to enter.
There wasn’t a shower available at the church, but I didn’t mind. After walking nearly 20 trail miles, plus another mile or more in town, I was glad I didn’t have to walk anymore today.
My upper bunk in the basement of the church was warm and dry.